Some of the Best Moments from the 2020/2021 School Year!

As the end of the school year approaches many people find themselves reflecting on all the memories they have made over the year. Whether it be in the classroom, cafeteria, theater, gym, track, or turf everyone has a moment from this school year that is special to them. Ms. Rowitt, one of our faculty, thought it would be uplifting to have her students submit their favorite memory from this year. She assigned the same project last year to her students. She got the idea due to Covid. She stated, “None of us has ever experienced anything like this before, and it’s HARD.  High School is demanding enough without a pandemic keeping you online all day and away from many things my students would rather be doing.  So this activity was meant as a fun break, plus I wanted to encourage my students to look for the good, even in all that this year has been.” She decided to assign it again this year for the same reason. It has been tough, but each day it is important to practice gratitude and this activity allowed the students to show appreciation to O’Hara for gifting them with an amazing faculty, wonderful teachers, great friends, awesome coaches, and memories that will last a lifetime. 

When I asked Ms. Rowitt her own favorite memory from this year she said K108.  It was special for her because she didn’t get to teach seniors this year, but in her time at O’Hara, she taught a good chunk of the class of 2021.  She mentioned, “Experiencing Karios with them, and the first one that Father Masson has been able to have since Covid started, was amazing! Seeing the faith and strength of my students is always amazing to witness!”

 After reading through her students’ responses she was reminded what a safe space high school can be. It showed her that her students want to be at O’Hara and — to see how much the days they were able to be together, albeit socially distanced, at school mattered to them made all the work this year worth it. This project was a great way to show that O’Hara is more than just a school, it is a family and that the lessons and memories made here are priceless. Here is a snapshot of just some of the student responses about their favorite memories:

“The best part of the 2020-21 school year would be gathering for events when it was permitted. Being able to have and participate in the fine arts night felt like a step closer to normalcy and it was amazing. From lunchtime to my regular classes, I am so grateful to my teachers and peers for making school the best experience possible even through the pandemic. My all time favorite thing would be anytime I get to sing with the choir. It is hard practicing with different cohorts, but when we come together it is beautiful and it is one of the best experiences ever. The best part of this year was our ability to come together successfully through a different type of year. I am so excited for next year!”

~ Kaia Grant ‘22

“My favorite part of the school year was winning the PCL swim meet with my team. I had a great time swimming and I made some great new friends. If I could go back in time and do the whole season again, I definitely would. I was very proud of our victory and this is something that I’ll treasure forever. I can’t wait for the next season to start again. I am grateful to the friends I made, my teammates and my coach for making the season super fun!” 

~ Haley Bray ‘24

“The best part of the school year for me was my art class with Ms. Johnson. We did a lot of fun and unique projects that I’ve never tried before and I learned a lot from it. She’s been a really fun teacher as well and came up with a lot of engaging activities. I enjoyed meeting some of the new teachers that I had, like Ms. Johnson, Ms. Alfano, and Señorita Becker who all worked very hard and came up with some pretty interesting activities and projects. Hopefully next school year things will start going back to normal, but this year wasn’t as draining as I thought it’d be.” ~ Sydney Scaramuzza ‘23

“My favorite memory from this school year was the flag football tournament.  This was one of the first in person events that the school allowed us to have and it was definitely the best. Last year, the flag football tournament was fun and I know that my friends and I were really hoping that they would continue it in this hybrid year. When they announced that we were going to be able to have the tournament outside, we were all excited and started making our team. We got our team together, picked out shirt colors, and were ready to go. The day of the tournament was exciting and our first game was so fun. I loved posing for pictures and being able to be with all of my friends in person at a school event for the first time all year. We won our first game and moved onto our second game where we played our friends. It was so funny playing against them and we ended up winning. So, then we moved onto the third game, which was the championship. Our friends we had beat last game stuck around to hang out and watch the last game. We ended up losing to the seniors in a close game. Even though my team got second, the flag football tournament is still my favorite memory from this school year because I was able to spend time with all of my friends at a school event. Many of my runner up best memories were made in your (Ms. Rowitt’s) class, I want to thank you also for being the great teacher that you are. I am always excited to come to your class because I know that I will smile and laugh. You made this year as fun as possible and really taught me a lot.”

~ Maddie Ellis ‘23

“Over the past year, I had many fun memories, but the best one was definitely lacrosse season. It was my first time playing high school lacrosse because of not being able to play due to covid last year. It felt like it had been so long since I actually got to have an actual sports season, and it was amazing getting back to playing what I love. O’Hara lacrosse is like no other team that I’ve been a part of. Although the running was definitely hard, it never took away from all the fun we had together as a team. Every single person on the team was so supportive and encouraging throughout the season. One of the things we did as a team was never let someone run alone. If everyone had finished the laps and a few girls were still running, at least one girl would go back to make sure they didn’t finish alone. This is what it means to be a team and work as a team. O’Hara lacrosse has taught me so many important things both about life, and the sport over the past couple of months. The most important thing I learned was hard work pays off, and it did. This was my favorite memory by far because I made friendships that I will keep for the rest of my life on this team. I’m sad it’s almost over, but I can’t wait for next year!”

~Lauren Hodlofski ‘23

“My favorite memory from the school year was the golf season. Even though the season got canceled in the fall, the spring season was still great. I was very happy to even have a season and the team worked really hard to improve. The hard work paid off because we got third place in the PCL tournament. Although we didn’t win the championship, it was still great to know we were pretty close. Overall it was great to have a season and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

~Anthony Carson ‘23

My favorite part about this school year was when our track team won PCL’s. Hearing our team get called to come receive the plaque was one of the best feelings ever. We’ve been working really hard all year for that moment and I’m so proud of our whole team for doing their best last weekend. I’ve met so many great people and made a lot of fun memories. Thanks to everyone on the team for making track so much fun. Winning PCL’s was definitely the highlight of this school year, but Mrs. Rowitt’s math class is a close second 🙂 ~Sarah Lorenz ‘24

This was my first year at O’Hara and even though it didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to, it was still so great. I was able to be a part of a lot of cool things and make many new friends. My favorite memory from this school year was probably being a part of the tennis team. Since covid cut our season short, the JV team never got to play other schools. Although it would have been fun to play actual games, the practices were so much fun. It was my first year playing tennis, and I learned a lot. There were a lot of people on JV so every practice was so much fun. I am so lucky to be a part of such a positive team and I can’t wait for next year!

~Maribel Haas ‘24

“One of my newest and most favorite memories this school year was getting to go outside for recess during third lunch with my table partner, Hayley Denne. We got to go outside and play spikeball which was really funny and entertaining for us. Every other day throughout the year Hayley and I have enjoyed making the most out of our lunch. We’ve created so many memories that will definitely stick with us throughout the rest of our time at O’Hara.”

~ Jordan Graney ‘23

“My favorite part of this school year was winning the basketball state championship! Considering we weren’t even sure if we would have a season, winning the championship was even better. The entire year we worked so hard and this year especially, sacrificed many things during the season. To be able to win the first one ever with the best people is something I will never forget. Everyone was so excited and so proud of us, it was such a fun time. The game was so exciting, the coaches were so happy, and we played together. It was even more fun because we were winning by so much, it wasn’t very stressful. Every season is special for different reasons but this one has definitely been the best!  I am so lucky to be a part of this team and will always remember this year.”  ~ Annie Welde ‘22

‘One of my fondest memories from the 2020-2021 school year was having the opportunity to be a part of O’Hara’s production of The Music Man as an orchestra member. In my grade school years, I often came to O’Hara to see their musicals, and I was always blown away by how spectacular they were from the talented actors, actresses, singers, and dancers on stage, to the dedicated Stage Crew members behind the scenes, and even to the gifted musicians in the pit. O’Hara’s theater program truly allows each student involved to shine the light of Christ to the O’Hara community through their God-given gift, whether that be singing, acting, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or visual art and/or set design. The program teaches its students that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and this aspect was especially recognizable this year due to a smaller cast size. O’Hara’s production of The Music Man this past March was so special because it was the first show that O’Hara students were able to perform since Back to the 80’s in December 2019, and better yet, it was able to happen amid COVID restrictions. Even as a freshman playing the flute in the pit, I saw actors, actresses, singers, dancers, Stage Crew members, and instrumentalists showcase their respective talents with JOY. I have never seen such happiness in such an uncertain time. Seeing the unity of the cast members and hearing senior speeches for the first time, particularly in a year of restrictions and uncertainties, reminded me of why I am so beyond grateful that I attend a school with outstanding people and opportunities because the people make them happen. Overall, I am so blessed to have experienced such an amazing O’Hara production, and I will cherish this memory for a lifetime.” ~ Theresa Stolarczyk ‘24

“The best part of this school year would have to be the Band Banquet we had. It was the first social event that the band was able to have all year and I was really excited for it. The drumlines, guard and Jazz Band performed and it was a special moment. This was the first performance we were able to do for our families. It was great just knowing that things are trying to go back to normal and that we were able to have this event this year!”

~ Natalie Doyle ‘22 

“This year has had its ups and downs in many ways. One of my top moments was being in school and playing the sports I love which are field hockey, lacrosse and basketball. This year I was lucky to be a part of the first ever state championship winning girls basketball team. It was such a cool stadium and experience with some of my best friends that I’ll never forget. Although we have gotten so much taken away from us this year, winning that game made everything have a sense of normalcy. Overall I will forever cherish these moments in my life and cannot wait for what next year brings!” 

~ Kristen Kutufaris ‘22